Study shows humans may trust AI-generated faces more than actual human faces

A new study published this week showed humans tend to find faces generated by artificial intelligence slightly more trustworthy than actual human faces.

The study, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, compared the reactions of three groups of people to a combination of images of actual human faces and faces created by a pair of generators that created AI images mimicking human faces so closely the second generator could no longer distinguish between the real and fake faces.

The study groups were asked to distinguish between the real and fake images and for the most part could not tell them apart. The researchers were surprised, however, when they asked the study groups to rate the trustworthiness of the person in each picture.

The groups rated the AI images on a trustworthiness scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the most trustworthy. The AI images rated slightly higher, with a trustworthiness rating of 4.82, as opposed to the real human faces, which they only rated at 4.48.

“We initially thought that the synthetic faces would be less trustworthy than the real faces,” said study co-author Sophie Nightingale. 

The study’s findings may present challenges in the tech community in the near future, as AI imaging becomes better and more accessible to internet users. Experts worry AI imaging may be used to create fake videos and images of people to be used in revenge porn crimes, disinformation campaigns, and other malicious online activity.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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